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NBA Draft 2012: Why Anthony Davis Won't Win Rookie of the Year Next Season

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 02:  Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats looks on before taking on the Kansas Jayhawks in the National Championship Game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on April 2, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Oren FriedmanCorrespondent IIJune 28, 2012

The lock to be the No. 1 overall pick, Kentucky power forward Anthony Davis will find competition in the NBA more grueling than expected.

The favorite for the 2013 Rookie of the Year award, the "Unibrow" might not be the sexy pick come April. 

With all eyes on the Hornets' big man, Anthony Davis will have high expectations to live up to.

Here is why Davis will not win next season's Rookie of the Year.

 

Under pressure

Davis will have a target on his back throughout next season. 

He was a force during his one year stint for the Wildcats and earned a slew of awards in helping Kentucky win the NCAA tournament last season.

Still, all teams will be giving Davis their best shot next year. Arenas will be hostile, as fans will prey on Davis in the hopes of boosting their team forward.

Like the Clippers' former No. 1 pick Blake Griffin faced early into his career, Davis will have to deal with the physicality of opposing NBA big men. 

At only 230 pounds, Davis does not have the strength to dominate in the post. His length and incredible 7'5" wingspan will help him, but only to a certain extent.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 02:  Thomas Robinson #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist #14 of the Kentucky Wildcats lay on the court with the ball between them in the first half in the National Championship Game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men'
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The coalescence of all these factors will have Davis winded, unable to overcome the pressure and physical exhaustion that has the capacity to plague No. 1 picks.

 

Someone else will surprise

With such a deep draft pool, there are a number of guys that could come out and dominate the floor as a rookie.

From Davis' teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, to Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson and Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal, it would not be the biggest shocker if one of these players lit up the court and took home Rookie of the Year honors next season.

The No. 1 pick is no guarantee to be the Rookie of the Year. 

This could be the type of draft where the No. 1 pick has a great career, but is overshadowed by someone else in his draft class.

In 2003, No. 1 overall pick Andrew Bogut lost out on the award to the No. 4 pick Chris Paul.

In 2005, the Raptors selected Andrea Bargnani with the No. 1 pick, passing up on the Rookie of the Year and No. 6 pick Brandon Roy.

With so much talent in the draft, Davis could be first team All-Rookie next season, but end up conceding Rookie of the Year honors to one of his peers.

 

The Hornets will under-achieve in 2012-13

Next season Davis will be measured both by his personal numbers and by the success of his team.

Unfortunately for him, the Hornets look to be a cellar dweller again in 2012-13.

Heavily in rebuilding mode, the Hornets do not have a lot of players outside of shooting guard Eric Gordon. Davis will provide an instant impact but will be limited by those around him.

The Western Conference is stacked and the Hornets are a long shot to beat any playoff team next season.

In the event that another rookie helps lead his team to the postseason, Davis could miss out on bringing home the rookie hardware next season.

Currently, there is no coherent formula for evaluating a rookie's stats vs the success of his team.

In 2010-11 the Clippers finished a disappointing 32-50, but Blake Griffin still won Rookie of the Year. 

Conversely, Denver's Carmelo Anthony helped the Nuggets' get the No. 8 seed in the 2004 playoffs, but finished second in Rookie of the Year voting behind LeBron James' lottery bound Cleveland Cavaliers

Winning or losing, Rookie of the Year should have little impact on Davis in the long run. He could still be a legitimate threat to average 20 points and ten boards for a long time in this league.

Yet given all the hype surrounding Davis, don't be surprised if someone else walks away with the hardware next season.

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